Monday, January 26, 2015

Hallmark's "Home and Family" hosts a "Dynasty" cast reunion

Thanks to the "Dynasty" Facebook group, we got the heads-up this morning that several cast members of "Dynasty" were about to do an episode of Hallmark Channel's "Home and Family" show. So cool. The show aired at 10 a.m. today, and Pamela Sue ("Fallon") Martin, Al (original "Steven") Corley, Gordon (original "Adam") Thomson, Pamela ("Claudia") Bellwood and John ("Jeff") James really rocked it.

They discussed the beginning of the show, which launched in 1981. "We had to shoot two pilots," Corley said. "Originally George Peppard was the lead." They had to return to Filoli to shoot again when John Forsythe was cast. James added, "Six months later, and they had to put down like 700 flowers to match -- remember, they were all plastic -- because it was later in the summer."

James further reminisced, "The biggest show we had was the massacre in Moldavia, which was when cliffhangers were a big deal." He joked that this cliffhanger became a matter of "who's coming back, who wants too much money?"

Bellwood shared a fun story: "After we shot the Moldavia, I was in the Soviet Union, and it was about the time of glasnost, and I was in Moldavia. And I was shooting in a fruit market, a vegetable market with my husband, a photojournalist. And we were arrested in Moldavia. ... There was still a lot of paranoia. We were put in jail for just not that long, for several hours, for photographing vegetables in a market. I have the dubious distinction of being arrested twice in Moldavia."

James' daughter is coming in to her own success. Laura James, who is 19, won "America's Next Top Model" in Season 19. Later in the two-hour episode, Laura's "Rogue" line of sunglasses was highlighted, as modeled by her dad's castmates.

James talked about Jeff's on-again-off-again drama with Fallon. "Jeff was just madly in love with Fallon. And she was a spoiled brat." (Martin interjected that this was not in real life!) "Every now and then there's chemistry that happens on screen that you just can't create." He said some of the best scenes in his acting career were with Martin in those early days of "Dynasty."

"We were under a great deal of pressure," James elaborated. "Anybody who's does television knows. Every day either you're working or you're doing press or you're traveling." He told Martin at the time she could just hit him if she needed to vent. "It was tough. It was really hard, hard work."

Regarding the storyline of Fallon's baby being kidnapped, Martin said, "I only remember one thing about that. When I was supposed to receive the phone call, the director of that week's show said, I want you to drop to your knees and throw the phone. And I said, oh-for-godssakes, that's ridiculous. And we had this huge argument about it, and he won. And so I had to do it against my better judgement. And the next day the producers came down, which was never a good thing. And they said we have to reshoot it." It was over the top. The cast joked profusely about the baby thing, and the fact that Claudia threw what was thought to be the baby over the building edge, but it was just a doll. Martin shared that she was not a mom in real life at the time, and every time they handed her a real baby for a scene for Fallon, the baby would invariably start crying.

The intro of this episode of "Home and Family" episode was a nice touch, with the similar treatment for the cast members as the original "Dynasty" intro. Bellwood leaned against a doorway, and Martin quite effectively recreated her opening sequence flip-around.

As the special show progressed, Thomson told about meeting his on-screen mom Joan Collins for the first time. "I approached the soundstage, and Joan emerged from the stage door, looking like eight million bucks." He said that Collins told him, "Here to test for the part of my son. It's ridiculous, son. You're much too old." But we fans know it worked, right? "The job utterly changed my life," Thomson said. "Fortunately, she and I both agreed years later that we were walking genetic miracles. Because I was 37."

Corley, who left the show early on, said it was because he wanted to go further with the character of Steven, and the show's producers didn't want to do that. Martin also talked about leaving early: "I had been working in Hollywood for many years, and I don't think I had a huge childhood. I was just ready to fly and go wherever else. It was confining for me. ... Fame was not my favorite, at the time. We became very recognizable everywhere."

As part of the episode, Thomson cooked a Greek dish he was fond of, and Martin and Bellwood got some beauty and makeup tips. Both Pamelas looked just lovely, anyway.

Robert Mycroft, whom BRBTV interviewed for the "Dynasty High" fact book on the series, was also featured in the episode. Mycroft owns a fab collection of "Dynasty" wardrobe and assists Martin in appearances.

Mycroft showed and discussed the red sparkle dress, which this collector called his "holy grail." However, Martin said she didn't wear a lot of Nolan Miller's gowns because she was "too lazy to go for fittings."

Mycroft also showed the two dresses worn in the lily pond fight between Alexis and Krystle, plus Amanda's wedding gown from the Moldavian Massacre.

At the end of the broadcast, a touching letter from Linda Evans was read to the cast.

James said there's always possibility of a "Dynasty" reunion or remake, though, "you can't remake magic."

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